Looking Up

On the 11th of January we reported that according to a Dutch newspaper the US air force was systematically carpet bombing areas of Iraq. I send this to ICH and the Raw story who did not pick up on it. Today Tom Engelhardt published and article on the same but so far it has been the only other outlet I have seen this news. Also a recent survey showed that more than a million Iraqis had died as a result of the war. Recalculated for the US population that would equal approcimatly 12 million people if a war had caused the same percentage of casualties in the US.
I’m sure they would have thought that was Genocide.

It also means that 400 Iraqis died for every one of the casualties in the attacks on 9/11 and were not even counting the Afghanistani death toll.

Recalculated again for the same event to have happened in the US this would mean that 9000 people would have died per death as the result of an attack on a country they had nothing to do with.

When are the American population going to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable?

By Tom Engelhardt

A January 21st Los Angeles Times Iraq piece by Ned Parker and Saif Rasheed led with an inter-tribal suicide bombing at a gathering in Fallujah in which members of the pro-American Anbar Awakening Council were killed. (“Asked why one member of his Albu Issa tribe would kill another, Aftan compared it to school shootings that happen in the United States.”) Twenty-six paragraphs later, the story ended this way:

“The U.S. military also said in a statement that it had dropped 19,000 pounds of explosives on the farmland of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad. The strikes targeted buried bombs and weapons caches.”In the last 10 days, the military has dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of explosives on the area, which has been a gateway for Sunni militants into Baghdad.”

And here’s paragraph 22 of a 34-paragraph January 22nd story by Stephen Farrell of the New York Times:

“The threat from buried bombs was well known before the [Arab Jabour] operation. To help clear the ground, the military had dropped nearly 100,000 pounds of bombs to destroy weapons caches and I.E.D.’s.”

Farrell led his piece with news that an American soldier had died in Arab Jabour from an IED that blew up “an MRAP, the new Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected armored vehicle that the American military is counting on to reduce casualties from roadside bombs in Iraq.”

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NATO Genocide in Afghanistan

By Ali Khan

30/01/08 “ICH” — — Ali Khan argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban.

Sloganeers, propagandists and politicians often use the word “genocide” in ways that the law does not permit. But rarely is the crime of genocide invoked when Western militaries murder Muslim groups. This essay argues that the internationally recognized crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban, a puritanical Islamic group. NATO combat troops bombard and kill people in Taliban enclaves and meeting places. They also murder defenseless Afghan civilians. The dehumanized label of “Taliban” is used to cloak the nameless victims of NATO operations. Some political opposition to this practice is building in NATO countries, such as Canada, where calls are heard to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or divert them to non-combat tasks.

Dehumanization

In almost all NATO nations, the Taliban have been completely dehumanized — a historically-tested signal that perpetrators of the crime of genocide carry unmitigated intentions to eradicate the dehumanized group. Politicians, the armed forces, the media, and even the general public associate in the West the Taliban with irrational fanatics, intolerant fundamentalists, brutal assassins, beheaders of women, bearded extremists, and terrorists. This luminescent negativity paves the way for aggression, military operations, and genocide. Promoting the predatory doctrine of collective self-defense, killing the Taliban is celebrated as a legal virtue. To leave the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, says NATO, is to leave a haven for terrorism.

A similar dehumanization took place in the 16th and 17th centuries when NATO precursors occupied the Americas to purloin land and resources. The killings of native inhabitants were extensive and heartless. Thomas Jefferson, the noble author of the Declaration of Independence, labeled Indians as “merciless savages.” President Andrew Jackson pontificated: “What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms.” Promoting the predatory doctrine of discovery, the United States Supreme Court later ratified the pilgrims’ crimes, holding that “discovery gave an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title (to land). ([T]he Indians were fierce savages…To leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country a wilderness.”

The predators have not changed their stripes a bit. They come, they demonize, they obliterate. They do all this in the name of superior civilization.

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Afghanistan — the next disaster

By Saul Landau Read Spanish Version
After six plus years, the war in Afghanistan drags on. The media occasionally cites casualties, but if it doesn’t involve National Football League veteran Pat Tillman’s execution by his own comrades, Afghanistan gets sparse attention. A few stories feature the growing number of Afghan and Iraq War vets on American streets. But the aspiring candidates ignore such “blowback.” Instead, they demonstrate verbal aggression, a characteristic thought necessary for victory. “We’ve got to get the job done there [Afghanistan],” Barack Obama asserted without specifying what the “job” is. (AP, Aug 14, 2007)
Obama called for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and sending them to “the right battlefield,” Afghanistan and Pakistan. To pressure Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to act against terrorist training camps, Obama would use military force — if he became President — against those “terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans.” (Bloomberg, Aug 1, 2007)
In mid January, Bush dispatched 3,200 additional marines to Afghanistan. Curiously, the uncurious media didn’t ask why U.S. and NATO forces continue to fight there. Nation Building? With little or no budget for reconstructing the country?

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Shell’s record profits branded ‘obscene’

  • guardian.co.uk,
  • Thursday January 31 2008
  • Shell petrol pump

    Shell petrol pump. Photograph: David Sillitoe

    Shell was today accused of making “obscene” profits at a time when pensioners, motorists and industry are struggling with higher energy prices when it unveiled annual earnings of $27.6bn (£13.9bn).

    The oil major has made British corporate history with the record figures, which are equivalent to more than £1.5m an hour and come at the end of a three month period when crude prices have averaged over $90 a barrel.

    Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, described the performance as “satisfactory” and admitted that overall production for the year had actually dropped 2%.

    He said the company had benefited from launching new oil and gas projects but had suffered in the last quarter from weak refining margins.

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    Commission Confidential

    It seems that Max Holland thinks that we are all conspiray nutters but even he now has to come to the conclusion that something stank in the 9/11 Commision. Never mind that the “Jersey girls” wanted Zelikow out the moment they found out that he was in cahoots with the rest of the cabal.

    In a revelation bound to cast a pall over the 9/11 Commission, Philip Shenon will report in a forthcoming book that the panel’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, engaged in “surreptitious” communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials during the commission’s 20-month investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

         Shenon, who led The New York Times’ coverage of the 9/11 panel, reveals the Zelikow-Rove connection in a new book entitled The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, to be published next month by TWELVE books. The Commission is under an embargo until its February 5 publication, but Washington DeCoded managed to purchase a copy of the abridged audio version from a New York bookstore.

        In what’s termed an “investigation of the investigation,” Shenon purports to tell the story of the commission from start to finish. The book’s critical revelations, however, revolve almost entirely around the figure of Philip Zelikow, a University of Virginia professor and director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs prior to his service as the commission’s executive director. Shenon delivers a blistering account of Zelikow’s role and leadership, and an implicit criticism of the commissioners for appointing Zelikow in the first place—and then allowing him to stay on after his myriad conflicts-of-interest were revealed under oath.

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    Methodist ministers against Bush library

    Some Methodist ministers are making a final yet improbable attempt to stop George W. Bush’s presidential library, museum and public policy institute from being built at Southern Methodist University.They say United Methodist law requires approval from the church’s South Central Jurisdiction, whose 290 delegates meet in July. The opponents say at least one-third of the delegates are against the Bush institute because it will promote his administration’s policies that they feel conflict with church teachings.

    “Let it be a topic of discussion and debate, and let the decision be made at the jurisdiction meeting,” said the Rev. Kenneth Hicks of Little Rock, Ark., a retired bishop who opposes the institute. “Whichever side of the Bush library issue you’re on, it would be more appropriate to do it in this democratic fashion.”

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    Russia to rearrange troops due to U.S. missile shield

    MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to change the configuration of troops in Kaliningrad in response to U.S. missile shield plans in Central Europe, a high-ranking army official said on Wednesday.

    “The General Staff and the main combat training department of the Russian Armed Forces are deciding how we will configure the troops,” said Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, who heads the Armed Forces combat training directorate.

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    NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East

    NATO’s Role in the Middle East War TheaterThe North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the iron fist of America, Britain, France, and Germany. These four Western nations are the pillars of NATO.

    In the post-Cold War era, NATO has become an instrument in support of Anglo-American and Franco-German foreign and security objectives. Although intra-NATO differences exist, the interests of the U.S., the E.U. and Israel – which since 2005 has held a de facto membership in NATO – are interlocked within the Atlantic military alliance.

    Two areas in the Middle East have been militarized by foreign powers: the Persian Gulf and the Levant.

    In this regard, there have been two distinct phases of militarization in the Middle East since the late-1970s, the first being distinctly Anglo-American, going back to the Iraq-Iran War and the later being a unified NATO endeavour involving France and Germany as key players.

    Although the militarization process in the Levant started after the Second World War with the establishment of Israel, NATO’s distinctive role in this process took shape since the launching of the “Global War on Terror” in 2001.

    Paris and Berlin reveal their functions in the “Global War on Terror”

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    Revealed: 800 public bodies now have powers to ‘snoop’ on our phones and emails

    Almost 800 public bodies have assumed powers to “snoop” on our phone records or private correspondence, it emerged yesterday.The “surveillance state” powers have been handed to prison bosses, the police, Environment Agency, NHS Trusts, fire chiefs, Post Office and 474 local councils.

    Local authorities made 1,700 requests to access mobile phone records and other private information in the last nine months of 2006 – using them to catch “criminals” such as fly-tippers.

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    Stagflation is Here

    by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay 

    War—after all, what is it that the people get? Why—widows, taxes, wooden legs and debt.

    Samuel B. Pettengill

    James Madison, 4th U.S. President (April 20, 1795)

    “Let me issue and control a nation’s currency and I care not who makes its laws”.

    Nathan Rothschild, 1791

    Last summer, I observed that there was a “solvency crisis” underneath the ongoing subprime mortgage liquidity squeeze. Central banks can alleviate a “liquidity crisis”, but they cannot solve a solvency crisis.

    Last year also, before the events, I warned that the U.S. was heading toward stagflation.

    This was due to three fundamental factors.

    First, the structural fiscal imbalances of the federal budget in a period of prosperity, as a result of the Bush-Cheney administration’s continuous deficit spending linked to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and to its large tax cuts;

    Second, the over-indebtedness of the overall U.S. economy coupled with an overall saving rate close to zero (in 1981, it was 12 percent), and, as a consequence, the rapidly increasing foreign debt of the U.S.; and,

    Third, the required decline in the U.S. dollar to reverse and correct the deteriorating American balance of payments. The second factor was a harbinger of less consumer spending in the coming months while the third factor would stoke the fire of overall inflation. And with already high budget deficits, there would be less leeway for an aggressive fiscal policy to sustain economic activity. The table was thus set for a bout of stagflation, i.e. slow growth and rising inflation.

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    Internet failure hits two continents

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — High-technology services across large tracts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa were crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.

    art.dubai.gi.jpg

    Hi-tech Dubai has been hit hard by an Internet outage apparently caused by a cut undersea cable.

    Industry experts are blaming damage to two undersea cables but it is not known what caused the damage.

    Reports say that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain Pakistan and India, are all experiencing severe problems.

    Nations that have been spared the chaos include Israel — whose traffic uses a different route — and Lebanon and Iraq. Many Middle East governments have backup satellite systems in case of cable failure.

    Stephan Beckert, an analyst with TeleGeography, a research company that consults on global Internet issues, said the damaged cables collectively account for the majority of international communications between Europe and the Middle East.

    Du, a state-owned Dubai telecom provider, attributed the outage to an undersea cable cut between Alexandria, Egypt and Palermo, Italy, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.

    In India, Spectranet and Telecomasia.net, two large Internet service providers. Reliance were experiencing problems but a third major Indian Internet provider, said it was not affected.

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    Journalists, bloggers are threats in terror drill

    It’s the government’s idea of a really bad day: Washington’s Metro trains shut down. Seaport computers in New York go dark. Bloggers reveal locations of railcars with hazardous materials. Airport control towers are disrupted in Philadelphia and Chicago. Overseas, a mysterious liquid is found on London’s subway.

    And that’s just for starters.

    Those incidents were among dozens of detailed, mock disasters confronting officials rapid-fire in the U.S. government’s biggest-ever “Cyber Storm” war game, according to hundreds of pages of heavily censored files obtained by The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department ran the exercise to test the nation’s hacker defenses, with help from the State Department, Pentagon, Justice Department, CIA, National Security Agency and others.

    The laundry list of fictional catastrophes — which include hundreds of people on “No Fly” lists suddenly arriving at airport ticket counters — is significant because it suggests what kind of real-world trouble keeps people in the White House awake at night.

    Imagined villains include hackers, bloggers and even reporters. After mock electronic attacks overwhelmed computers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an unspecified “major news network” airing reports about the attackers refused to reveal its sources to the government. Other simulated reporters were duped into spreading “believable but misleading” information that worsened fallout by confusing the public and financial markets, according to the government’s files.

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    Bush asserts authority to bypass defense act

    WASHINGTON – President Bush this week declared that he has the power to bypass four laws, including a prohibition against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq, that Congress passed as part of a new defense bill.

    Bush made the assertion in a signing statement that he issued late Monday after signing the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008. In the signing statement, Bush asserted that four sections of the bill unconstitutionally infringe on his powers, and so the executive branch is not bound to obey them.

    “Provisions of the act . . . purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as commander in chief,” Bush said. “The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.”

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    This landmark event will be taking place:

    March 14 -16 at the
    POWERHOUSE MUSEUM
    www.powerhousemuseum.com

    Darling Harbour
    Sydney,
    Australia

    Powerhouse Museum Map
    Advanced Booking Price: AUD $128
    To book a seat » click here
    Confirmed Speakers:

    Prof Steven Jones – Physicist, Co-founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice

    Lt Col Bob Bowman – Former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development (USA)

    G. Edward Griffin – Freedom Force International, Author & Film Maker

    Barrie Zwicker – Media Critic, Filmmaker, Author of the “Towers of Deception”

    Dave Von Kleist – Broadcaster, Filmmaker of “9/11 Ripple Effect”

    Gillian Norman – Filmmaker of “ShadowPlay”, Journalist and Co-Director of the Truth Now Tour.

    Dr Frank Legge – Chemist, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice

    Dr David Leifer – Architect, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

    Ian Woods – Publisher, Editor, Global Outlook

    Cosmos – Activist, Radio Host, Truth Revolution Radio and founder of the 11th of Every Month Campaign

    Hosts of the tour will be Bayard Condon (“We are Change” LA) and John Bursill (Truth Action Sydney)

    To keep abreast of the latest news about the Sydney conference, please visit www.911oz.com or the 911oz Forum.

    If you requiure more detailed information please contact John Bursill:  johnbursill@aapt.net.au.

    “We Can’t Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans”

    “We Can’t Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans”

    Sibel Edmonds on Marc Grossman

    I am not one to easily embrace conspiracy theories, and in particular have found the idea that 9-11 was somehow an inside job too incredible for serious consideration. On the other hand, there are some very fishy aspects to some officials’ behavior pertaining to the attacks. Justin Raimondo has made a very good case for the fact that Mossad agents posing as “Israeli art students” were tracking al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S. before 9/11.

    Over 120 Israelis were detained after 9/11, some failing polygraph tests when asked about their involvement in intelligence gathering. But they were not held or charged with any illegal activity but rather deported. As former FBI translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has revealed, there was a curious failure of the government before 9/11 to act upon intelligence pertaining to an al-Qaeda attack. Most importantly Edmonds, defying the gag order that former Attorney General Ashcroft imposed on her in 2002, is implicating Marc Grossman, formerly the number three man in the State Department, in efforts to provide US nuclear secrets to Pakistan and Israel. She suggests this was done through Turkish and Pakistani contacts, including the former head of Pakistan’s ISI who funneled funds to Mohamed Atta! Now there’s a conspiracy for you.

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    Chavez Warns ‘U.S. Pawn’ Uribe of Impending War

    January 26, 2008 

    Argentina – La Capital – Original Article (Spanish)

    In a further escalation of tension between the two countries, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, accused Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, of “devising a belligerent provocation,” on orders from the United States, “that could ignite a war.” “I accuse the Government of Columbia of plotting a conspiracy, an act of war against Venezuela, on orders from the United States,  to which we will be obliged to respond in a way that could ignite a war,” said Chavez during a press conference alongside his colleague Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.Read more The press conference, held on the eve of the Sixth Summit Meeting of ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America - Chavez' answer to Free Trade Agreements with the U.S.], the Venezuelan leader stressed that it was no coincidence that three senior officials of the United States, including Condoleezza Rice, had been in Colombia during the past few days.

    More Sibel Edmunds

    Haliburton Enjoys $15.3 Billion in Revenue for 2007

    Halliburton reported that revenue was $15.3 billion for the full year 2007, an increase of 18% from the full year 2006, and operating income was $3.5 billion, an increase of 8% from the full year 2006. Income from continuing operations for the full year 2007 was $2.5 billion, or $2.66 per diluted share, compared to 2006 income from continuing operations of $2.2 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share. 2007 earnings per share were positively impacted by improved operating performance, a lower share count, and the favorable income tax impact from the ability to recognize United States foreign tax credits that were previously assumed not to be fully utilizable. Net income in 2007 was $3.5 billion, or $3.68 per diluted share, compared to 2006 net income of $2.3 billion, or $2.23 per diluted share. Income from discontinued operations in 2007 included a net gain of $933 million recorded for the separation of KBR, Inc.

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    Russia Air, Ground Forces to conduct joint drills in April

    MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) – Units of Russia’s Air Force and Ground Forces will conduct a joint exercise in the country’s Caspian region in April 2008, a senior military official said on Tuesday.

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    Some problems crop up in Florida vote

    Critics not yet raising major alarms

    A handful of Florida voters are reporting technical glitches and other problems in counties using touch-screen voting machines. Early reports indicated the problems were small, and critics of the machines so far have not raised major alarms.

    The office of Rep. Robert Wexler, a south-Florida Democrat who is a leading critic of touch-screen machines, received only a few complaints Tuesday morning and passed those concerns along to the state’s supervisor or elections, a spokeswoman tells RAW STORY. But so far the congressman and his staff do not see large-scale problems developing.

    “We haven’t been getting flooded with calls,” said Ashley Mushnick, who works in Wexler’s DC office. Two people called his Florida offices and one call was received in Washington, she said.

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